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It’s tough being an athlete right now – Botswana’s Nijel Amos

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It’s tough being an athlete right now - Botswana’s Nijel Amos - Sports Leo

More insight into the financial impact coronavirus-related postponements and cancellations have had on athletics have been revealed, specifically in Africa and for Botswana’s Nijel Amos.

As with many industries, according to a BBC report, the picture is fairly bleak.

On the road running side of things, Dutch athletics agent Michel Boeting said: “It is going to be a disaster for the athletes.”

“Half of the year for road race athletes is already gone with all the races cancelled. This means that athletes without contracts will go to an income of zero for the first six-seven months of the year, and those with contracts will lose 40 to 70 per cent of their income.”

Botswana’s Nijel Amos, the 2012 Olympic 800m silver medallist and third fastest man of all-time over the distance, said he’s already lost 20 000 US dollars (R373 614) in appearance fees this year, a substantial portion of his earnings.

“It’s a struggling time for us athletes just to keep our career going, let alone trying to get to the next phase of anything,” says Amos.

“Are organisations going to keep funding us as if we’re getting ready for the Games or are they going to pause that funding until next year? And if they pause that funding, how much damage is that for us? You know, it’s a really tough time being an athlete right now.”

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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